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child, would see no one. At length I prevailed upon Madame to take her a note, in these words :
..Leila, I must see you before the ceremony. I claim this as your kinsman and natural protector.
In a few minutes she returned, with the following: • It is impossible — do not urge it.'
• I knew it would be so,' said her guardian: dear child, how firm! well, I suppose it is all for the best.
It was late in the afternoon; sick at heart, exhausted by fatigue, weak for want of food - having tasted nothing since my early breakfast at the half-way house --- I returned to the Stadt-Prüssien. There I found Macklorne and Wallenroth, impatiently waiting for me. The former had evidently been exerting himself to sustain his companion, and, in so doing, assumed a cheerfulness which he could not feel. I gave a report of my own movements, which seemed to take away what remained of hope - yet Macklorne would not despair. There is another day left. Providence will not desert us; let us hope yet. An ample dinner, prepared by the considerate directions of Macklorne, was in readiness; and after it, overcome by fatigue of body and mind, we all retired.
Through the night I was oppressed with dreams and night-mare. At one time I was at home in Warwickshire, listening with a heavy heart to the arguments of De Lisle; then suddenly transported to St. Kilda, where, losing my footing, I seemed falling from the cliffs of Conagra into the foaming abyss below; next I was at Glencoe, bending over the wounded Glenfinglas, while fierce black eyes glowered at me from the adjoining thicket; and then I was walking in the professor's garden, with Theresa Von Hofrath, and while enjoying her companionship, Leila came running down the walk pursued by Vautrey, and implored my protection. The violence of the appeal awoke me. Starting up, I discovered that it was not yet day. But I could sleep no more. The leaden weight that had oppressed me when a child now sat upon my heart. Memory, of all the faculties, was most wakeful. I revolved the scenes of my childhood; I thought of my mother and her gentle counsels; I essayed to repeat the little prayers she used to teach me; and Conscience then whispered that I had sinned against God and my own soul, but I controlled myself and was calm. I resolved not to yield to nervous fears or to be miserable without a cause. Then I thought I would commend myself to God, and summon Faith to my assistance. I tried, and — could not. At length I remembered wbere I was, and for what, and my mind sought relief in thinking what might yet be done for Leila. Thus occupied, I lay till it was quite light, when I rose, dressed, and went down.
Macklorne was up before me. Wallenroth, he said, after a most unquiet night, had just fallen asleep. At the end of considerable discussion we concluded we had done all which could be done, without Leila's assistance; but that we would be present at the marriage cere- • mony, ready to take advantage of anything favorable to our hopes. As a last expedient I despatched a note to Leila, stating our designs. begging she would still reconsider her decision, and giving assurance,
that at the last moment even we should be ready to rescue her. I myself knew too well her resolute spirit to believe anything could alter her determination.
The time passed gloomily. We did not separate, but continued to discuss one project after another, with feverish excitement. We walked about the town, we visited the cathedral, we went up to the altar, and stood where Vautrey and Leila were to stand. We even selected the place whence we should ourselves observe the ceremonial; Heinrich acquiescing, as one to whom every thing had become indifferent. Afterward, restless and impatient, we paced up and down the street.
The day was spent. The hour arrived which should give Leila Saint Leger to Laurent de Vautrey. A few minutes before this, Wallenroth, Macklorne, and myself, had taken our places by a small chapel on the left of the altar. The immense wax candles around it were burning; they emitted no cheerful light, but added to the gloom which pervaded the cathedral. After a few minutes two carriages drove up, and presently Leila entered, leaning upon the arm of Madame de Marschesin, followed closed by Vautrey. Several attendants on either side waited at the door within the church.
As Leila advanced, my eyes were fastened upon her. I endeavored to mark some sign of wavering purpose, but could not; her face was very pale, but her step was firm, her form erect, her air composed and dignified — she would do nothing even in appearance to violate the spirit of her promise. Vautrey, too, bore himself with an easy elegance, which under other circumstances would have challenged my admiration. An anxious furtive glance thrown around the gloomy chapels and recesses of the cathedral, however, gave evidence of some perturbation of spirit. They approached the altar together. For an instant I turned to look at my companions. Wallenroth seemed stupified, and was gazing vacantly on the scene; Macklorne, on the contrary, was excited to an almost incredible degree; a frown was upon his brow; his eyes shone with fierceness; his form was dilated; his breathing distinctly audible. The sound of the priest's voice brought my attention back to the parties; up to this moment I was calm; now a tremor seized me, a giddy sensation oppressed me, and I leaned against one of the columns for support.
The ceremony went on — the moments to me seemed ages; the responses had been demanded and were made by Leila, in a firm unwavering voice; and the priest had taken the ring in order to complete the rite. At this moment a moan at my side caused me to turn; Wallenroth had sunk down insensible. The priest paused, startled by the interruption; a gesture from Vautrey recalled him to his duty; but now a slight disturbance was heard, proceeding from the entrance; the noise increased — the priest paused again — when a hideous creature, with the aspect of a fiend, darted swiftly forward, and before one could say what it was, lighted with a single bound upon the shoulders of the count. I saw the glitter of steel aloft, and flashing suddenly downward; I saw Vautrey fall heavily upon the mosaic — dead. His executioner crouched a moment over him with a brute fierceness, then drew the dirk from the wound; and as drops of blood fell from its point, sprang quickly toward me, shaking the weapon with a wild and triumphant air, and exclaiming : • Tat's petter dune. The truth flashed upon me — I beheld in the repulsive wretch before me the creature we had encountered at the toll-gate — the wild savage seen at St. Kilda — the fierce cataran of the highlands, the leal subject of Glenfinglas - Donacha Mac Ian.
It is impossible to describe the suddenness with which all this took place. A scene of confusion ensued; the party about the door ran in and secured the miserable Donacha, who indeed made no resistance.
Macklorne rushed forward and bent over the body of the murdered man; Wallenroth's senses returned and he was at Leila's side. She herself, though nearly overcome by the horror of the scene, looked as if breathing grateful thanks to Heaven..
Madame de Marschelin was for a moment in bodily terror of the assassin; that removed, she became composed, and remarked that it was an awful visitation of Providence. The priest was nowhere to be seen; he had fled into a private recess, and did not appear till satisfied all danger was past. For myself, I stood and surveyed the spectacle. All that I had ever known of Leila and of Vautrey passed, as a single thought, through my mind; another seal was set to a life-impression. What was man, proud man in the hands of the AlmigụTY? How futile his plans — how vain his hopes — how mysterious his end !
I went up, and with Macklorne attempted to raise the body of the unfortunate Vautrey. Calling to the attendants, who now approached, we succeeded with their assistance in placing it in the carriage, which we accompanied to his late apartments.
Macklorne undertook to convey information of the catastrophe to parties named by Madame de Marschelin as business agents of the count. Friend or relative he had none.
The next day, impelled by a curiosity I could not restrain, I made inquiry for Donacha, and was told that, although placed as was supposed in secure confinement, he had managed to escape from prison, and could not be found. I learned afterward that in a very short space of time he presented himself to Glenfinglas at Kilchurn Castle, and holding up the blood-stained dirk, fell at the feet of his master and expired, illustrating the nature of his relentless spirit and the fierce and indomitable passions which sustained him to the last.
It is time to pause.
Leila is happy in the arms of Heinrich Wallenroth. Francis and Margaret Moncrieff are both agreeably wedded. Hubert and Ella, gay and light-hearted, are satisfied with the world. At Bertold Castle time passes serenely and without drawback.
For myself — what? Theresa, I hasten to you - no, I must not. The resolution is taken.
Come, Macklorne, let us out into life.
YES, O conservative lord! there should be master and servant,
In its tumultuous strife and ceaseless tossing,
Its agony and storm, From shores that thou hadst left, thy damp brow crossing,
Blew soft that land-breeze warm.
Unnoticed then were billows huge and dashing,
Unmarked the tempest's roar ;
Upon the river's shore.
Down some bright stream of song thy heart has floated,
And seen, each side inclined,
Green hill-sides of the mind.
Fair groves where earnest hopes were boldly growing,
Gardens of Love and Truth;
Its passion and its youth.
By bluffs of wit, by nooks of fancy gliding,
Drifted thy bark along;
Dallied the breeze of song.
Till the perpetual swell of fierce emotion,
Of restless care and strife,
The mighty sea of life.
Across its waves, forever high and crested,
Forever icy cold,
And lapped thee in its fold.
Oh weary voyager on that Atlantic
Of human wo and wrong!
Lulled by the breeze of song?
FABLES AND FABULISTS.
BY FRANCIS C. WOODWORTE.
It is not often that a fisherman's patience is more amply rewarded than mine was the other day, while angling in the somewhat turbid lake of French literature. Shall I tell you precisely what I caught, reader; where I caught it, and how? Well, I took up a volume containing some choice morceaux from Florian-pray, allow me to drop the figure with which I started; for it is rather heavy, and I cannot well carry it any farther— and, at the outset, I found some excellent thoughts on the prominent fabulists of ancient and modern times, and the origin, history and genius of apologue. These thoughts are so instructive and truthful, so racy and rich, so well conceived, and withal, so elegantly expressed, as to render quite superfluous an apology for their reütterance. I like them on many accounts, and not less for the antidote they afford to the stereotyped and matter-of-fact dissertations which abound on different branches of polite literature, especially on the poetic art, constructed by men who set themselves up as scribes and rabbis in the literary sanhedrim; and who, moreover, know no more of the things whereof they affirm so dogmatically and oracularly, than a blind man knows of the hues of the rainbow.
But who was this Florian ? A man who deserves to be better known. He was contemporary with Voltaire, and the two were intimate friends, an uncle of Florian having married a niece of Voltaire. In 1788, he became a member of the French Academy, and was one of the ornaments of that institution until his death. He wrote many things well, but fables, perhaps, best of all. Indeed, in this department, he ranks very near the inimitable La Fontaine.
But I will detain the reader no longer from the thoughts on apologue to which I have alluded. Allow me the liberty of removing from them their French costume, which becomes them so well, and of presenting them in the most fitting Anglo-Saxon one at my command:
Some time ago, one of my friends, seeing me occupied in construct ing fables, proposed to present me to one of his uncles, an elderly man, of a most amiable and obliging disposition, who, during all his life, had